Appraiser Mojo

“OMG, you’re an appraiser? That’s AMAZING!” I hear this all the time…no…never. But why not?

Mojo is that exact time when you do something powerful, purposeful and impactful. You can feel it. Others can see it. It’s more than just being cool. It’s having your appraisal firm run like a Tesla. Tasks sequenced perfectly. Fresh market data. No missed due dates. Shorter internal review times.  Total quality control.

How insufficient is enough?

It’s hard to have mojo if you lack the tools to get your job done. This shows up in struggling to keep up with your due dates. Are you quoting 4-6 weeks out? Is it heavy appraisal volume? Could it be production and process issues? Maybe you lack appraisal software that works the way you do.

So, what’s the solution? DataComp Suite

  1. A commercial comp database designed by appraisers for appraisers.
  2. Report writing templates that allow you to produce reports exactly the way they look now.  
  3. Appraisal workflow providing a dashboard view of all work in progress.

What are you measuring to assess your progress?

Reflect on…

Mojo plan competency framework

In short: your appraisal firm becomes successful providing:

  1. Easy to use comp database, leveraging confirmation and write-up time.
  2. Word and Excel integration providing reports the way you want them.
  3. Accelerated report delivery while retaining report quality.
  4. Managing appraisers’ schedule and production with reporting.
  5. And most importantly – your appraisals done right.

“Making something take longer than necessary is probably the worst example of work ethic and looks busy…not cool.”
Richie Norton

Mr. Norton quotes are spot on for your appraisal firm’s aspirations.

  • “Opportunities will come and go, but if you do nothing about them, so will you.”
  • “You gotta make it a priority to make your priorities a priority.”
  • “If you end your day feeling like you got nothing done, it’s because you weren’t working: you were busy, not productive.”

The Road Less Stupid (from the Chairman of the Board) by Keith Cunningham highlights the concept of Thinking Time. Principles and strategies for making great decisions and minimizing risk. The chance of success shoots up when you think, plan, consistently execute the right things, and worry about the possibility of loss. Thinking Time questions are designed to maximize clarity and create better choices resulting in fewer mistakes.

Operators react and sweat. Owners think and plan.

Establish criteria that matter to you

Seek out tools that allow you to do your job extremely well, enhancing your personal and professional mojo. Seek out that positive spirit of mojo. It starts from the inside and radiates to the outside. It starts with the owner of the appraisal firm, radiating out to your appraisers.

Clearly communicate your expectations to your appraisal staff. Create a collaboration board such as Trello or Click-up. Meet weekly to discuss new initiatives to keep improving your internal appraisal process. Create how-to playbooks to address bottleneck areas.

The true test to your processes is if you can answer the following questions. For a typical non-complex appraisal how long (in minutes) does it take (on average) for you to:

  1. Bidding process (including capturing relevant information) and job set-up.
  2. Coordinating inspections.
  3. Selection and verification of the appropriate comps.
  4. Nailing the valuation.
  5. Report assemblage and quality control.

Most appraisal firm owners have a general idea but might be surprised if they put a pencil to it. The five stages of an appraisal can vary significantly without the lack of documented processes and software that works the way you do. Those smaller appraisal firms quoting a month and a half can enjoy that deliverable timeline, at least into the short term.

Your future cash flow at risk

Appraisal department managers and chief appraisers are now (reluctantly) feeling the pressure to reach out to larger regional or national firms that have the technology and systemization. Small appraisal firms have the same advantage of larger firms. The challenge: Do you see it? Do you want it? Will you go get it?

Don’t wait to be compelled to do great work.” Find your MOJO!